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Old 03-19-2012, 06:24 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Water Table flats recommendations

Hi Group,

Hopefully this question has not been abused here, but I just got my 2x2 water table and will be ordering some flat steel today to finish it. At the moment I am looking at 11 pieces of 30.5" long 0.118" (3/16") thickness 4" wide flat stock steel of A36 hot rolled material. At the moment I am looking at about $110.53 plus tax.

Is this reasonable? Should I be looking at any other steel grade? This was the cheapest I could find and I imagine cheapest is what I should be wanting, right? Or will I regret saving about $100 for going with hot rolled instead of cold rolled? Thanks for your input!
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Old 03-19-2012, 07:04 AM   #2 (permalink)
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.118" is not 3/16". .118" is 11ga. 3/16" is .1875". So first figure out which one you are getting. Secondly, I use 11ga on my slats for my 2x4, seems to work out well.
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Old 03-19-2012, 07:32 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Ooops! I meant 0.188" which does happen to be 3/16".
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Old 03-19-2012, 07:57 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Not sure how the slat supports are made for the TorchMate water table but on my home build 2x4 water I use 11g 2" flat stock spaced every 2" and it works fine. You will never get that much weigh on a 2x2 table and 2" should be more that enough. 4" slats for a 2x2 seems like overkill to me.
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Old 03-19-2012, 08:17 AM   #5 (permalink)
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The slats are fit in there on an arch so you can get away with. 125 thick steel, they won't move. I just used some old rusty .125/6" wide flat stock a friend of mine had at his fab shop. He sheared it up for me to the sizes I needed. Works fine! I also only used 10 slats because the torch can't make it all the way to one end so I didn't see the need to put a slat there.
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Old 03-19-2012, 08:24 AM   #6 (permalink)
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1/8" slats (11ga) on a Torchmate 2x2 water table would be fine.
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Old 03-19-2012, 08:43 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Thanks to all for the discussion!

What I would like to know is what you think is the cheapest solution that I can purchase locally? For example, if I go to metal super markets here in Dallas Texas, they have a gazillion grades and steel styles. Stell alloy, hot rolled or cold rolled? A36, 1045, 4140, AR400, and many more. I could just spend a few hours sorting it all up, but thought of asking in case this is a simple question. Maybe it is not as simple as I initially thought, considering it almost takes a metallurgy major to sort throught it all!

I will try calling them. Maybe they can tell me which is the cheapest way to go. I'll share the results afterwards.
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Old 03-19-2012, 09:55 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Just tell them you want cheap hot rolled flat bar 1/8" x ______. Price can range from .65 to 1.10 a pound.
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Old 03-19-2012, 10:13 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Think of slats as consumables. They will periodically need to be replaced. So get the cheapest you can find. All its doing is holding the material up. When they get cut up, beat up and jagged, lower the water level and hit the tops with a 4 1/2" grinder and call it a day.
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Old 03-19-2012, 11:08 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Ask for cold rolled. I just purchased the the same 11 pieces of 4"x1/8" 30.5" long and paid $42 out the door.
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Old 03-19-2012, 12:15 PM   #11 (permalink)
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If you are really wanting to pinch pennys, go to a scrap yard

other than that hot rolled A36

small quantities are going to be expensive. I don't bother ordering steel unless its 2,000 pounds worth
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Old 03-19-2012, 01:39 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Go with hot rolled flat bar.. cheap and the mill scale will resist corrosion better than cold rolled..

I've had the same 3/16"x3" slats in my 4x8 table for about a year or so.. and still haven't turned all of them over to the other side yet..
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Old 03-19-2012, 06:28 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I just built a table for my 2x2 with 3/16x 3" the steel yard didn't have the 1/8" that I originally wanted ...which I upgraded from 1/8"x1 1/2" (which I had on the table sans water for over a year with no problems) The slats are heavier than most sheets I'll ever have on the table, though it does feel sturdier when i load them on
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Old 03-21-2012, 12:40 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I know having them cut the slats here in Ohio was twice as much as ordering 2- 20 footers and using the hand bandsaw and cutting them myself. Was still 100 bucks but I had a 12good piece left over. I got mine the Fastenal but I'm a maintenance supervisor and get a discount and even better when its for me! !!
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Old 03-21-2012, 12:41 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Mines also a 2x2and as stated u can do away with at least 1 at each end as the table go that far.
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Old 03-21-2012, 12:55 PM   #16 (permalink)
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i use 2"x1/8" for the slats in my water table, still are working great a few years after installing them. they are cheap and easy to replace if i ever wear them out enough to need them replaced.
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